New to Typophile? Accounts are free, and easy to set up.
For my master's project I'm creating an electronic prototype of a printed Aleut-English dictionary. The information in the dictionary is wonderful but many other things about the dictionary are not. The dictionary's organization can be criticized on several levels, including typographically--at least, I think so. But as my background is in linguistics and not design, I don't know where to find an authoritative source on this subject. My searches on "information design and dictionaries" and "information design and lexicography" so far have either turned up dictionaries on information design or articles on how to structure lexical databases, which are not what I need.
I'm looking for scholarly works that spell out fairly accepted principles of laying out information (specifically, bilingual dictionary entries with no pictures) in a way that guides users to what they're looking for. I need these principles both in order to critique the existing dictionary and to guide the design of the computerized one. At a minimum, some source that conveys ideas similar to "presenting complex hierarchical information as dense running text is bad" and "an 8x10 inch page really deserves wider margins than three eighths of an inch" would be really helpful.
Typographic considerations constitute a very small part of my thesis, but they affect dictionary usability in a big way, so I hope to address at least the most major problems. If anyone knows of sources that address the visual design of reference works specifically, that would be wonderful; but in any case I'd be grateful for anything that might come remotely close.